Recorded by Sam Hamilton, this 8-track debut from Auckland indie rockers New Gum Sarn is as much about the countryside of Puhoi as anything, according to the band. Anxiety Nap is an instrumental blues number that builds, evolves and subsides before Bad Soy rocks a groove with occasional triplets and introduces the laconic, whining vocals completely at home amongst the jangling soundscape.
Money Talks is immediately given the gold star thanks to the lyric, “Money talks to me 40 hours a week”, and I’m literally moments away from soap boxing. Panic In The Treasure has a cute guitar intro that ends up being the whole song, and title track New Gold Mountain meanders into a laid back rhythm section with haunting vocals searing through the outro. Blue Flag highlights the rockier side of New Gum Sarn, following an old style guitar/bass interplay at the outset, with dissonant melodies and a spaced out guitar solo, giving just a hint of Brit rockers Supergrass. Small Boys begins as vaguely oriental before a Strokes-like guitar rock sound takes over. By the time Saigon Paris works its way to the end the four-piece have finished their album off in uncompromisingly indie-rock style. For fans of all of the musical references that feature above, and also The Veils, ‘New Gold Mountain’ hints at a DIY attitude, songwriting prowess, laidback vibe and boutique sound that New Gum Sarn can now claim as their own.